Hove Museum is a Victorian villa with an Indian twist

It was built in the 1870s by local architect Thomas Lainson. Originally the home of John Oliver Vallance, a member of a prominent Hove family, it was named Brooker Hall after his father, whose middle name was Brooker. Vallance and his wife, Emma Kate, shared the house with their five children and a large number of staff, and they’re said to have lived in style, entertaining on a grand scale but also opening the grounds of their lovely home for charitable functions. John Oliver died in 1893 and his widow continued to live in the villa until 1913.

The Sussex Room of Hove Museum, mid 20th century
The Sussex Room of Hove Museum, mid 20th century

During the First World War the building was used to house German prisoners of war. In 1926 it was purchased by Hove Corporation, and the Jaipur Gate was moved into the front garden. It opened as a public museum in 1927.

Hove Museum, c1960
Hove Museum, c1960

Thanks to both public and private funding Hove Museum underwent a major refurbishment in 2003. It is now one of the most family friendly and accessible museums in the South East. Part of the redevelopment programme involved working with local artists and community groups to create unique commissions for the museum. These include decorative metal railings, gallery seating and an unusual panel in the lift interior.